According to recent statistics1, companies under two years (start-ups) file more trade marks than longer established companies.
Many start-ups self-file, or ‘DIY’, their trademarks. DIY-ing your trade mark may seem like a cost saving exercise, but if you don’t register your mark correctly it could leave your trade mark, and your brand, exposed.
Here are some common pitfalls:
- Too many registrations
Some start-ups file too many trade mark applications, some of which may not be necessary or appropriate for their mark. Making sure you only file your trade mark where it is needed is particularly important for companies that may be looking to expand into international markets or whose products or services cross international boundaries. The more classes you file your trade mark in locally, the more registrations you may need to file overseas. The cost all adds up. Pre-filing advice can help you register the right trade mark, in the right form, for the right things, in the right places at the right time (and in the most cost efficient manner).
- Covering the wrong goods or services
Selecting the correct goods and services to include in your application is a vital step in the registration process. If you don’t cover the correct goods or services you can leave your trade mark open to challenge by a third party and may provide you with inadequate protection for the future.
- Missing your registration or renewal deadlines
If your trade mark is not registered on time, your brand could be exposed, leaving the door open for it to be challenged by a third party. After your trade mark is accepted for registration, you need to pay the registration fee to ensure your trade mark is registered, as well as renewal fees. Post-filing support can help you meet crucial deadlines to ensure that your trade mark remains protected in both Australia and internationally.
Your trade mark is one of your most important assets. It is the face of your company and the sign which differentiates your goods and services from your competitors. Getting good pre-filing advice and post-filing support can help you ensure your trade mark is properly protected from the outset and stays that way.
1 Australian Intellectual Property Report 2016, p. 28
This News Alert is for the general information of our clients. Its contents are not a complete statement of the law on any subject. Professional advice should be sought before any course of action is pursued.